Blog - October 2012

2012 Deaf Legacy

So, the Olympic and Paralympic games are now well and truly over and what a great spectacle they were. I have to admit to not being that interested in the build-up but once the opening ceremony started, I found that I was absolutely hooked. As well as simply being a fantastic spectacle (and I was gobsmacked that the Queen agreed to 'helicopter in'), I was also really pleased to see that one of the very first 'celebrities' to appear, happened to be Evelyn Glennie, and she was then quickly followed by a signing choir along with a good number of BSL interpreters in evidence. Granted there were justifiable concerns raised that the interpreters kept being cut from various camera angles, all in all, I hadn't anticipated the high visibility of deaf issues and the ceremony certainly seemed to deliver what its director had hoped for in terms of being 'inclusive'.

I learned a lot about deaf sport during the weeks that followed. For example, I hadn't realised that there is no sporting category set aside for deaf competitors (unless they have some other form of pre-categorised disability). Instead, Deaf athletes compete at the Summer and Winter Deaflympics which originally started in 1924, long before the Paralympics came into existence, but there are longer term plans to help deaf athletes become more visible in the next Olympics and Paralympics in Rio.

However, perhaps the major gripe I picked up on, was the fact that deaf sports is so poorly funded. Twitter was awash with comparisons being drawn between the millions of pounds being spent on preparing the 2012 athletes with the paucity of the £42,000 that had been provided by the Government last year for deaf sport. There's a good summary of the issues by Charlie Swinbourne in the Guardian  that's worth reading, and if you do want to find out more about the Deaflympics in time for the next games in Sofia in July 2013, check out the Deaflympics website and see how our GB Team progress on here.

Useful links

 Newcastle City Council Social Care Direct - Adult social care services for deaf, hard of hearing, blind, partially sighted, deafblind people. Click here for more information.

If anyone Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing living in Newcastle is struggling they can arrange a needs assessment by contacting Social Care Direct on 0191 2788377 or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Once the assessment is complete, equipment can be offered free of charge and is not means tested.  Once equipment has been provided subsequent equipment would need to be self-funded. There is a website to support the identification of equipment and clients should visit

Another Council Services can be found on this link

See our Safeguarding Adults BSL/Subtitled videos for different types of abuse and how to report - Click here

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